The Canadian Arctic Resources Committee (CARC) was founded in 1971 and is one of the oldest nongovernmental organizations working in the Canadian North. CARC promotes a definition of sustainable development that seeks to limit the footprint of industry in the North while ensuring the wise use of renewable and nonrenewable resources.
CARC brings an independent and critical but constructive perspective to environmental, economic, constitutional, and other issues. It bridges the gap between North and South, between aboriginal and nonaborigi-nal communities, and builds consensus around issues. CARC challenges government agencies, industry, and others to act responsibly and to focus on the effects of decisions in a fragile environment. At the same time, CARC understands that a nonconfrontational approach to northern issues often produces long-term results.
CARC's respected policy journal, Northern Perspectives, has been published continuously for nearly 30 years. It has also published over 50 books, issue papers, and monographs. Some of these have been honored with national awards, including the Governor-General's Award.
CARC's work was launched with its First National Workshop on People, Resources, and Environment North of 60 in Ottawa. The proceedings, Arctic Alternatives, became the authoritative work on public policy and contemporary issues. Protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska and adjacent land in the Yukon was among the first issues that CARC tackled. CARC maintained a lead presence at the famous Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry and coordinated the response and analysis of a number of environmental groups.
This was followed by work on national energy policy and security, aboriginal land rights, sound cost and benefits analyses of numerous northern development proposals, northern sovereignty and security, environmental and cumulative effects assessment, land use planning, the effect of transboundary contaminants like POPs (persistent organic pollutants) on northern ecosystems and human health, and ways to ensure the long-term viability of the barren ground caribou.
Supporters and adversaries alike acknowledge CARC's tireless efforts to ensure that decisions concerning the North are made based on solid information, with a clear understanding of consequences and alternatives. The Canadian Arctic Resources Committee is funded mainly by individuals and private foundations that share a commitment to the North, and maintains offices in the Canadian capital of Ottawa and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.
See also Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Further Reading
Calef, George, Caribou and the Barren-Lands, Ottawa:
Canadian Arctic Resources Committee, 1981
Canadian Arctic Resources Committee, Environmental Committee of Municipality of Sanikiluaq, Voices from the Bay. Traditional Ecological Knowledge of Inuit and of Cree in the Hudson Bay Bioregion, 1997 Canadian Arctic Resources Committee website: www.carc.org
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